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New Zealand’s agritechnology sector was worth approximately US$865.33bn in 2013, according to new research that looked into the size, value and future potential of the country’s sector

NewZealand-cityNew Zealand's agritech export sales are set to increase as forecasters predict further demand for New Zealand agritech solutions. (Image source: Robert Linsdell)

Commissioned by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the report added that the New Zealand agriculture sector plays a significant role in the economy and the country’s expertise in pasture-based production has made it the world leader in the efficient and low-cost conversion of pasture to protein, and the systems that surround it.

The research, completed in late 2014, shows that New Zealand is also emerging as a leading provider of agricultural technology solutions, with broad offerings across the on-farm supply chain.

New Zealand’s agritech sector is made up of products and services that include animal and seed genetics, fertiliser and agri-chemicals, fencing supplies, farm tools, machinery and systems, and pumping and irrigation.

Of the total agritech exports, the research reveals that animal health products, medicines and preventative treatments for on-farm use were the largest export earners at US$224mn. This was closely followed by fencing supplies and equipment, and machinery and systems, each worth US$221mn in export sales.

Export sales are set to increase as key export markets indicate strengthening demand for New Zealand agritech solutions. Currently, Australia and the USA are New Zealand’s top agritech export destinations but the research shows exports to Canada, China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia are increasing.

New Zealand agritechnology companies continue to invest in research and development, demonstrating ongoing innovation and the development of creative solutions for on-farm problems.

New Zealand’s economic development minister Steven Joyce said, “The agriculture sector plays a very significant role in our economy. This research shows that our innovative agritechnology systems generate very significant exports in their own right, and provide the opportunity to deliver much more for New Zealand in the years ahead.

“New Zealand has historically underperformed in agritech exports compared with other advanced agricultural nations. However our exports are now growing more quickly than our competitors’, and opportunities for more growth exist across a wide range of markets. Europe, China and South America stand out as the biggest areas of potential growth.”

The removal of the dairy quota system is also opening up opportunities in Europe and New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreement with China, along with China’s substantial demand for meat and dairy products, is providing New Zealand agritech companies with significant opportunities, the report continued.

Primary industries minister Nathan Guy added, “New Zealand is one of the world’s most efficient primary producers, and this report shows our expertise and technology in this area is in growing demand around the world.”